Reaching out to homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Upstate South Carolina
While we don’t have any concrete stats for the number of homeless LGBTQ+ youth in the Upstate, other studies have suggested that it’s a rising issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Since getting involved with the local LGBTQ+ organizations and becoming more active within the community just about a year ago I’ve learned some pretty disturbing facts. Well, okay. I think I already knew that LGBTQ+ folks had a harder time than the average person with discrimination, bullying and just general unfairness. My eyes have been really opened the last few months, especially, with my involvement in helping with the launch the Uplift Outreach Center. I’ve had the opportunity to read over this study which explores the needs of the LGBTQ+ community here in the Upstate. I personally participated in this study before publicly coming out. The results are not what we would want.
According the Williams Institute, 40% of homeless youth in our country identify as LGBTQ+. According to our little Spartanburg County study, 8% of the participants were kicked out of their home, 13% were financially cut off and 9% were formally disowned. 46% felt unaccepted by their family members. None of this is acceptable to me and it shouldn’t be to you either.
Our friends at Pride Link identified this need and have come up with their own solution to finding these kids safe places to live, allowing them the tools to become stable, contributing members of our communities. In early 2020 Pride Link will launch their Host Home Program. The program will help find homeless LGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 18 and 24 temporary host homes.
They need your help. Pride Link is looking for host families for this program.
How do you become a Host Home?
- You must be at least 25 years old
- You will provide a spare bedroom and food
- You will have homeowners or renters insurance
- You will complete a background check
- You will provide references
- You will complete an interview
- You will be provided with a comprehensive initial training
What kind of support will you get as a Host Home?
Pride Link will support their Hosts by:
- Implementing intentional youth-led matching process
- Maintaining regular contact with match
- Providing host stipend
- Youth with receive case management
In a region that is infamous for alienating it’s LGBTQ+ people, this is a huge step forward. By reaching these individuals at this stage in their lives, where they’re just getting on their feet and forming their values and goals for their future, we can make our state, country and world a more loving, accepting place to live.
If you are interested in becoming a Host Home you can fill out Pride Link’s short form here.
Of course, becoming a Host isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for other ways to reach our LGBTQ+ community you can get involved with these local organizations:
You can find more organizations throughout South Carolina here.